My story may bore you. I don’t have one of those “God saved me from drugs, alcohol, or a destructive lifestyle of wanton physical pleasure” stories. But it is my story, and I’m thankful for it.
I grew up in church. I ate, slept, and breathed church. I was there every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and involved in everything else. I was the superstar Sunday School kid. My father was a church leader and my mom was deeply involved. My churchiness helped keep me away from weed, beer, tobacco, rock-n-roll, and premarital sex.
It also kept me far away from Jesus.
I went to college to train to become a preacher. I always knew I wanted to be a preacher. And right away, first month, freshman year, I struggled. Not with classes. But with God. I knew that if this faith in Jesus thing was to be authentic, I had to claim it for myself. On November 19, 1995 I became a Christian. It was the beginning of a long wrestling match between myself, God, and others.
For the first two years of my following Jesus, I was the kind of person that pissed Jesus off in the Bible. I was a Pharisee. Pharisees were teachers of the Old Testament who tried to impress everyone and God with how religious they were, and spent a lot of time pointing fingers at how wrong or unreligous other people were. That was me. I was more interested in crushing people with my knowledge than loving people. I was proud, cocky, and arrogant. It took some beat downs from God to get me to appreciate how much I needed His grace through Jesus as much (or even more) as anybody else did.
A year after I graduated from college, I planted Discovery Christian Church in central Shenandoah Valley of VA. Discover is a small network of micro-churches that is growing. I had no business planting the church when I did, but the lessons learned from God through this experience couldn’t have been learned any other way. I got to see God’s grace transforming people on a daily basis. Some of these people were like me–overchurched to the point that they really didn’t know who Jesus was. Now He’s changing them. A vast majority were people who are kinda shocked to find themselves in church. And Jesus is changing them, too.
As for me, my story continues to evolve. I have a smokin’ hot wife, three adorable and very vocal little girls. I enjoy good rock music, movies, cigars, and root beer. But most of all, I enjoy Jesus. I relish what He did so long ago, dying on the cross and resurrecting from the dead. I’m floored by what His grace is doing to people. We now live in Greenville, NC. I now work as a hospice chaplain, which is one of the toughest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. We’re also in the process of trying to introduce people to Jesus, with hopes of a new microchurch network sprouting up in Greenville and beyond.
That’s my story. I’m a dude that has been saved and enslaved by Jesus.
The purpose of this blog is simple: it’s how I process. I post about my reflections on the Bible, books I’m reading, observations about life, movie and book reviews, and a few other odds and ends. I could care less about an audience. This blog simply helps me walk down the road a little better.